Dr Mike Webster BEng, MSc, PhD, DIC, CEng, FICE, FIStructE regularly acts as an expert witness in cases involving construction safety, structural safety, CDM 2015, enforcement notice appeals and construction-related personal injury. He has been instructed by legal teams for both prosecution and defence, has worked on both civil and criminal cases, and has worked on cases under both English and Scottish law.
Mike has acted as expert witness on a range of collapses including reinforcement cages, bridge wing walls, retaining walls, bridge beams, industrial structures, stored glazing, stored frames, structures undergoing demolition and mantelpieces. Mike has also worked on construction cases involving temporary works, moving plant, fire risks and falls from roof edges, through ceilings, through structural openings and though fragile materials.
When something goes wrong on a construction site, such as a collapse, and the case ends up in a dispute, an enforcement notice or a prosecution, some of the issues involved can be highly technical and difficult for a lay person to understand. This could could make it difficult for those trying the case to reach a decision. Mike can act as an expert witness and make his knowledge and experience available to litigants, Courts and those resolving disputes to help them understand the issues in a case and thereby reach a sound and just decision.
Areas of expertise
Dr Mike Webster has expertise in:
- Construction health and safety, risk and the CDM Regulations – he led independent evaluations of CDM 1994 and CDM 2007 and reviewed the use of CDM 2007 in the construction of London 2012. Mike has recently been appointed by HSE to lead a research project to broaden understanding of how the CDM 2015 Principal Designer role is working in practice. He has published a range of work and acted as an expert witness on behalf of both defence and prosecution teams in cases involving breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act, the Work at Height Regulations and the CDM Regulations (CDM 1994, CDM 2007 and CDM 2015) during construction projects.
- Safety and the service life of structures – his interest is in combining material, structural and construction issues to minimise risks to the safety, serviceability and whole life cost of concrete structures. He has published a range of work, developed appraisal and asset management guidance in the UK, Europe and Hong Kong and acted as an expert witness.
Cases worked on
Dr Mike Webster has acted as expert witness under both English and Scottish law. He has been instructed by both defence and prosecution teams in a range of cases including:
- Criminal prosecutions under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 – involving a range of new build and refurbishment projects
- Criminal prosecutions under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations – involving clients, designers, contractors, principal contractors and planning supervisors in a range of construction work under the CDM 1994, CDM 2007 and CDM 2015 Regulations
- Criminal prosecution for gross negligence manslaughter – involving city centre refurbishment and new build projects
- Appeals of enforcement notices – involving improvement and prohibition notices issued for refurbishments and temporary works
- Fee for intervention disputes – involving temporary works
- Claims for catastrophic injury – involving coastal infrastructure, work at height and building collapses during construction
- Claims for defects – involving defects in bridge components
- Civil case in the Admiralty Court – involving interpretation of the condition of cement cargo to provide information on a shipping collision
Mike has been instructed as an expert witness in cases involving a range of construction and engineering risks. These have involved a range of collapses including reinforcement cages, bridge wing walls, retaining walls, bridge beams, industrial structures, stored glazing, stored frames, structures undergoing demolition, structures undergoing underpinning, steel structures, mantelpieces and temporary works. Mike has also worked on construction cases involving moving plant, fire risks and falls from roof edges, through ceilings, through structural openings and though fragile materials.
Mike has been instructed by a range of solicitors including:
- Beale & Co
- Bond Pearce
- Clyde & Co
- Crown Prosecution Service
- Foot Anstey
- Frisby & Co
- Health and Safety Executive
- Holman Fenwick Willan
- Irwin Mitchell
- Office of Rail and Road
- Osborne Clarke
- PR Scully
- Squire Patton Boggs
- Tuckers Solicitors
- VHS Fletchers
These cases have involved counsel from a range of chambers including:
- 2 Bedford Row
- 2 Hare Court
- 2 Temple Gardens
- 3 Paper Buildings
- 5 Paper Buildings
- 6 KBW College Hill
- 6 Pump Court
- 9 St John Street
- Albion Chambers
- Compass Chambers
- Crown Office Chambers
- Fountain Court Chambers
- Matrix Chambers
- Outer Temple Chambers
- Red Lion Chambers
- St John’s Buildings
- St Philips Chambers
- Temple Garden Chambers
Expert witness services
Mike can help with independent and objective advice on construction safety, structural safety, CDM 2015, construction-related personal injury and defects in concrete structures by:
- Initial discussions – to establish what the range of issues are and, potentially, provide an outline opinion
- Undertaking site visits – to help establish what may have gone wrong and to provide input on what evidence and / or testing would be useful to establish the relevant facts
- Reviewing evidence – to understand what the key issues are and the implications of those issues for the parties involved
- Preparing briefing notes and formal reports – to provide an opinion on what has happened, what should have happened, what the significance is of any difference between the two and whether any difference caused the incident
- Liaising with other experts – to identify which issues can be agreed upon and where there are differences of opinion
- Giving evidence in court – to help the judge and jury understand the key issues
About and contact details
Dr Mike Webster is a chartered engineer with over 30 years’ experience. He is a Fellow of both the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Structural Engineers. He specialises in construction and structural safety, CDM and risk, and founded MPW R&R to provide Consulting, Forensic and Expert Witness services in those areas.
Mike has worked on the design, appraisal and site supervision of building and bridge structures. He has developed guidance for assessing the safety of existing structures. Mike led an independent review of CDM 1994 and the independent evaluation of CDM 2007. He also led the review of the use of CDM 2007 in the construction of London 2012.
Mike has been instructed as an expert witness by both defence and prosecution teams in cases involving allegations of gross negligence manslaughter, breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act, the Work at Height Regulations and the CDM Regulations and the appeal of enforcement notices.
Mike is currently a member of the following industry forums relating to his expertise:
- Structural-Safety (incorporating the Standing Committee on Structural Safety (SCOSS) and Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety (CROSS))
- Institution of Structural Engineers Health and Safety Panel
- Temporary Works Forum
- Hazards Forum
- Society of Construction Law
If you would like to discuss how he may be able to help, or would like a copy of Mike Webster’s expert witness CV please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 07969 957471.